Here’s a recipe you’ll need if you want to make soups and other dishes completely from scratch: Vegetable stock.
When you make your own stock or broth, you greatly reduce the amount of sodium that goes into your meals. Check the label of that can of stock in your cupboard – it’s crazy how high the sodium is, isn’t it?
Here’s how we gather the ingredients to make stock in my house: Every time we peel a veggie or chop something for a meal, we put the scraps in a big plastic baggie. When that bag gets full (or on the verge of being too old), we make the broth. It’s easy, makes use of those scraps and it’s way cheaper than buying a bunch of cans of stock.
Servings: This makes enough broth for two pots of soup, but you can freeze it in smaller portions
Use a very large pot, preferably a stockpot.
Put in just about any vegetables at all. You don’t need to chop them unless they won’t fit in the pot. In most cases, you don’t even have to peel them, because the skins are loaded with flavor and vitamins, and texture will not be an issue when the finished product is strained. Refer to this list for more information on which vegetables to use.
Take some garlic cloves, smack them with the side of a large knife to break them up a bit, and throw them in the pot, peel and all.
Add salt, pepper, and any fresh or dried herbs you choose. I usually use a bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley.
Pour in one gallon of water.
Heat to boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the broth to cool a little.
Pour or ladle through a fine strainer, and you’re done.